10 Best Paracord Uses For Survivalists

Parachute cord, or paracord as it is more formally known, is the interweaving stitch of durability, innovation and multiple usages, all in one bundle.

There is no need for me to convince you of the practicality behind paracord. It is relentless in how it can be used. Even astronauts in the 82nd Space Shuttle mission used paracord to repair the Hubble Telescope.

For us on Earth, paracord is the Swiss Army Knife of rope. It plays a very important role in not only survival scenarios, but also for military, law enforcement, outdoors enthusiasts, or anyone just heading out for a weekend camping trip.


Some sort of cord is a vital part of any survival kit. You aren’t prepared if you head outdoors without it, and should you find yourself without any cordage in an emergency, you will need to know how to make it or improvise it from what you find around you.

Whether you need to tie a ridgeline for a shelter, make traps, catch fish, make a net or repair your equipment, some sort of cordage is vital.

Making strong cord from lime bast takes literally weeks and other more expedient natural fibers still take a long time to process. When you have paracord, things are much easier.

As with everything in survival, the primary thing you need to know is to always have paracord with you.

This might be in your car glovebox, your everyday carry kit, stuffed into your backpack you take everywhere with you, or in a handy paracord bracelet that you can easily wear.

First, let’s take a look at what makes paracord different from the normal rope.

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Best 5 Paracord Planet Type
    Paracord Planet Type I
    Zacro Type II
    Paracord Planet Type III
    Tough Grid Type IV
    Extremus True Mil Type III
Best Survival Uses For Paracord
Over To You

Top Paracord Planet Type Comparison

ParacordsTypeBreaking StrengthMin Length/Pound
Paracord Planet Type Ieditor_badge

I95 lb (43 kg) 950 ft (290 m; max. 1.57 g/m)
Zacro Type IIII400 lb (181 kg) 265 ft (81 m; max. 5.62 g/m)
Paracord Planet Type IIIIII550 lb (249 kg) 225 ft (69 m; max. 6.61 g/m)
Tough Grid Type IVIV750 lb (340 kg) 165 ft (50 m; max. 9.02 g/m)

Best 5 Paracord Planet Type

Paracord Planet Type I

Paracord Planet

The Type 1 95 paracord is between the 275 and Micro cords. It has the same breaking strength as Micro Cord, although being thicker.

95 Parachute Cord is a small cord for a wide variety of uses, designed to be very lightweight and flexible. They offer over 90 colors to choose from in four different lengths.

We used this paracord to make an ultra-light duty suspension cord for a DIY camping hammock under a quilt. This cord was ideal since we needed something lighter than 550 that was still sufficiently robust and wouldn’t fray.

It is undoubtedly smaller than 550, and the exterior weave is rather tight. As a result, when you knot it, it is not sloppy.

We were also able to use a double fisherman’s knot to connect it to some more oversized diameter shock cables. When utilized for the proper purpose, this cable is fantastic.

Zacro Type II


Camping, hiking, military, survival, and other outdoor adventures are more accessible with this Zacro Type II paracord.

Each package comes with ten colored nylon ropes measuring 3 meters in length.

This paracord has a 400lb test rating and is ideal for camping, trekking, military use, survival, and other outdoor activities. In addition, it has ten buckles in a variety of colors.

So we tried this to wrap a few of the knife handles and give the rest to the kids to create bracelets and other things with. The cable is excellent and seems to be durable.

The only thing we wish we could get separately is the cable colors. We wanted the silver cord from the set, but we had no choice but to get and open the complete lot. Regardless, it is an excellent paracord.

Paracord Planet Type III

Paracord Planet

Paracord Type III is a strong nylon cord with seven inner strands and tensile strength of 550 pounds that was initially known as Parachute Cable by the US Army.

You’d think a strong cable would be massive, yet 550 paracord has a 4mm diameter, making it ideal for any craft or project.

Paracord is ideal for tent tie-downs, hammocks, trekking, trip lines, and more because of its strong resilience.

This paracord is incredible. If you have a creative side, you can turn this paracord into various items. You may make bracelets, key chains, belts, dog collars, necklaces, pouches, and a little inventiveness or access to YouTube.

We tested it out on a camping trip, taking wooden dowels, drilling holes in one end, and then inserting, braiding, and twisting paracord to build handles, changing the combination into trekking sticks.

This cord is an excellent addition to fun activities for adults and children.

Tough Grid Type IV


Tough Grid Type IV is 200 pounds and higher, suitable for hanging bear bags, tying down packs, and erecting a tent.

The footers come coiled in a bag, tube, and on a spool. There’s a size for every occasion.

This cord seems to be the best choice for a secure and sturdy basket swing, and it’s proven right upon testing.

Even though knitting with paracord brought its obstacles, we completed the swing, which still looks as good as days after usage.

It survived two storms that ripped people’s roofs off and uprooted trees with trunks larger than an SUV!

The dirt doesn’t appear to attach to it, and the steel ropes we used to hang it had to be changed due to wear and use, but the swing works well. We used this paracord to replace the steel cords!

Extremus True Mil Type III


The Extremus True Mil Spec Type III is impenetrable to UV rays, so you can rely on this paracord to withstand harsh environments.

It is also light and heat resistant, so it’ll always be ready for the most arduous duties or in an emergency.

It comes in three distinct lengths to save you money and waste: 25′, 50′, and 100′.

Each is packaged in a resealable plastic bag ideal for storage, putting in a camp box, or carrying in a backpack, and keeps the paracord neatly sorted for simple usage.

We used this cord for EDC, safety, outdoor hobbies, or to make cool-looking wearable bracelets or lanyards. The cable comes in a variety of lengths and colors.

It is wrapped in a handy zippered pouch that protects the rope and fits well within a backpack pocket, among other items, but can also be used for a variety of survival reasons with a little effort, making it a 2-in-1 bargain!

Paracord is a fantastic and beneficial item. Every kayak angler should think about bringing some along. 

What Is A Paracord and How Is It Different to Rope?

difference between paracord and rope?

You might have heard of paracord being referred to as 550 cord, or type III cord. This is one of the most common types of paracord and has its title from the fact that it can hold 550lb (249kg).

Of course, there are other types of paracord as well. Below is a table of the varying types of paracord and their relative strengths.

In comparison to rope, while both paracord and rope are made of individual fibers joined together to create a much stronger cord, the individual fibers of paracord are made of a lightweight nylon rope.

This was originally used in the suspension of parachutes, giving it the title as parachute cord.

While the standard material of paracord is nylon, some styles of paracord can be made with polyster.

However, the military standard is nylon as it is more reliable, so we will likely stick to that reasoning as we like durable things.

Best Survival Uses For Paracord

Best Survival Uses For Paracord

Now that actually know what paracord is, what can you do with it?

There are countless amounts of paracord projects out there, but here are just a few of the best paracord projects to get you started.

1. Building A Tarp Ridgeline

A tarp has become the ubiquitous shelter option for bushcraft and survival and is a very attractive option for recreational bushcrafters, survivalists, and preppers alike.

They are lightweight, they pack down small, and as well as their obvious use as a shelter they can also easily be improvised for other uses, whether for dragging kit, injured members of your party along the ground, making a stretcher, seat or windbreak.

To pitch a tarp as a shelter you will need a ridgeline, ideally, a taught rope between two trees or poles, and paracord is the ideal solution for this.

One end can be secured with a simple timber hitch and the other with an adjustable knot to allow you to apply tension to the ridgeline.

If you don’t have convenient trees to tie it from, two upright poles can be used instead and clove hitches around the top of each pole secured to the ground with a simple whittled peg is a perfect alternative.

There is a great video over at Black Owl Outdoors on using tarp ridgelines, here it is:

2. Paracord Fishing Line

One of the particular advantages of paracord above other alternatives like bank line and the accessory cord is the possibility of stripping down paracord and gutting it of its multiple internal fibers.

These multiple fibers are one of the reasons paracord is so strong. In fact, there is a reason it is often called ‘550’ paracord; it’s because it can bear 550 lbs of weight.

These internal fibers can be removed and are fine enough to use as an improvised fishing line which is why a survival bracelet acts as a method of food gathering too.

You can easily use a paracord bracelet to catch fish, as seen here:

3. Sewing Thread

As well as being fine enough to use as fishing line, the internal fibres of paracord are fine enough to be used for strong sewing thread.

It’s not as fine as the cotton you’d sew on a button with but it is much stronger and will be suitable for repairing clothing, shoes, tents and even in dire need for use as a suture.

4. Paracord Bow Drill String

If you have paracord in an emergency, it is not out of the question that you have other essential items kept in a survival kit such as a firesteel or a lighter for making fire. So you may not have to resort to making fire by friction.

However a simple trick that many outdoorsmen use is to swap their boot laces for paracord, this means that not only are your boot laces very strong but they can provide very strong emergency cordage if you have no other alternative.

Your paracord bootlaces might easily be adapted as a bowstring for a friction fire.

Despite its strength though, you do need to be aware that if you allow your paracord bow string to slip around the drill it will melt and weaken the cord, make sure that this doesn’t happen or the string will break.

A bow drill will make light work of making a fire to keep you warm, cook your food and purify your water, so if you don’t have a tinder and flint, or a firestarter, but instead you do have paracord, a bow drill is a perfect way to get that initial spark going.

To find out how to use a bow drill, check out our guide on 11 ways to start a fire without matches.

Paracord in the wilderness

5. Prusik Paracord Climbing Loops

Prusik loops can be used to climb up ropes and can also be useful for attaching a kit to the ridgeline of a tarp.

Prusik knots (friction hitch) can lock onto a rope under tension but then slide gently to move up or down a rope.

Climbers accessory cord is the perfect choice for making these as it is very rigid and the knot won’t become compact and difficult to loosen.

Paracord will tighten up and isn’t as good as an accessory cord for prusik knots (below) but is a suitable alternative in emergencies.

Prusik knots (friction hitch)

6. Making Traps and Snares With Paracord

Whether made from the central fibers or intact cord, paracord is incredibly versatile when it comes to making traps and snares for survival.

The gutted inner fibers can be used to make fine snares for catching small mammals or birds if used carefully.

The individual fibers would be great for snaring small birds, a few fibers woven together would be strong enough for rabbits or squirrels or could be threaded with raisins and used to catch pheasants or other ground-feeding birds as they eat the bait and ingest enough cord to keep them tethered to the ground.

The internal fibers could also be tied into a net for catching rabbits or other burrowing creatures which you could smoke out of their burrows. Or the whole intact cord could be used to make larger traps.

For an example, a great guide on basic paracord snares comes from EveryDay Knife Guy, below:

7. Paracord Lanyard

A lanyard for the equipment you carry in your pockets can’t be underestimated, especially as losing a piece of vital equipment such as a knife or firesteel could literally mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.

A simple paracord lanyard attached to your belt will keep your kit safe and if made from plaited paracord rather than just a single strand can also be a useful way to carry several feet of cord discreetly and compactly alongside your everyday carry items.

8. Improvised Paracord Pack

Carrying a kit in a true emergency can be difficult.

If you are caught without a bug out bag or it has been lost or stolen and you are struggling to find a solution to carrying any kit you have scavenged, a simple tarp or even a bed sheet, blanket or coat can be lashed into a makeshift pack.

Hudson Bay or Yukon style packs are strung together with little more than a blanket and a rope, and paracord is perfect for this sort of improvisation.

Your possessions can be rolled up in whatever you have found, it might be a blanket or just a sheet of plastic and then the ends tied with paracord.

It is simple enough to either carry this bundle on a single cord across your body like a messenger bag or tie up rucksack-style straps with your cord if the load is heavier.

Yes if it’s heavy the cord may bite into your shoulders a little but no one ever said survival would always be easy.

For a Hudson’s Bay pack, you can use something as simple as a shemagh with paracord to create a pack for your gear, much like in this video below:

9. Paracord Guy Lines

Not only do you need a ridgeline for tarp shelters but you will need guy lines that secure the corners and edges of your tarp if you aren’t planning to peg them directly to the ground.

To give you some useable space under a tarp I would suggest you don’t peg it straight to the ground unless the weather is very bad and you desperately need to keep putting the wind and rain.

Paracord saves the day here as well, in fact, having a hank of it available when you are camping may save the day in bad weather if you ever need to replace a broken tent guy line or add extra improvised lines in very bad weather.

10. Paracord Lashings for Construction and Repair

Leaving the most obvious until last, paracord is great for any lashings that you require.

Either in it’s intact form for projects that require a lot of strength; perhaps fixing the seat of your canoe or replacing a broken rucksack strap or finer tasks which require the guts of the cord such as fletching a primitive arrow or lashing a broken fishing rod.

Over to you

Whatever your survival or outdoor needs, always make sure you have some paracord to hand, you will never regret carrying it and certainly will miss it if you need it.

If you know of any paracord uses you think are equally as important, let me know in the comment section below.

1 thought on “10 Best Paracord Uses For Survivalists”

  1. 1) Better boot laces than the ones that came stock when you bought them. 2) Hoisting your pack fame and gear in conjunction with a pukey to protect from bears, racoons, and squirrels, etc. 3) trip line for humans. If there are no friendlies, a carefully placed trip line can do more than just alert you to the presence of a for, bit easinly dispatch them? 4) Water crossings- usefur then. 5) Bolo? Only played with them. Could become proficient with practice. 6) Hoisting water from a hand dug well.


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